Cosplay and gaming at the Anime Expo 2012

The largest Anime and Cosplay event in the U.S., the Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention center just wrapped up on Monday.  The ties between anime, cosplay and RPG video games are many and strong.  Many anime series have continued or even served as the initial inspiration for games.  Video game fans would also have no trouble finding attendees cosplaying Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts characters and even wearing costumes from some western RPGs like Fallout.

Our friend Ginger of GNB Cosplay

What’s new with the Anime Expo is a carryover from the E3 Expo this year.  Many gaming companies are at least wading in the pool of mobile gaming.  Most Americans now own an iPad, iPhone or at least one of a myriad of Android devices.  To say that handheld consoles are in a period of flux is an understatement.  No one is like to be impressed with the sales numbers of either Nintendo’s 3DS or Sony’s Playstation Vita.  Sony has never been particularly successful at wrestling away Nintendo’s dominance but, they may finally have the better position.

The Playstation Vita is firmly geared toward the core gamer with its dual analog sticks and HD graphics and large screen.  In contrast, the Nintendo 3DS while offering a 3D feature has relied heavily on iconic fan favorites but older franchises.  The simpler graphics and more basic control schemes put it in direct competition with phone and tablet games like Angry Birds.  Third party game makers now have an in to the mobile game market with Android and iOs devices hugely outselling handheld consoles.  Japanese publisher, Mobage is one of those companies trying to exploit the opportunity.

Mobage took the opportunity of the Anime Expo to show off a couple of their new and upcoming virtual card games, including the already popular Rage of Bahamut and soon to be released Legend Cards.  Another game, Blood Brothers is a dark fantasy RPG that is fairly easy to learn but a little more difficult to master. You name and choose from a number of powerful characters, from warriors and sorceresses, to begin your adventure.  The game plays for the most part like a vintage RPG except that the map works more like a game board.

The twist in Blood Brothers is that you have recently been turned into a vampire but other than that and the somewhat limited path it’s very similar to Pokemon or Dungeon Quest: Monsters. As a vampire, and indicated by the title, blood has a lot to do with the game.  The blood will let you resurrect fallen foes that can be compelled to join your party.  Knights, samurai, high elves, dark elves, apes, lizard men, dwarves, and goblins are a few of the types of characters you can recruit in your quest.  The large party options allow you to strategize your method of attack from tranquil villages to fetid swamps.   Blood Brothers is currently available on Android devices as a free download with frequent updates.


Check out the next page for the Anime Expo 2012 cosplay gallery


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